My last post was published at the end of March and on April 5th my world paradigm cracked.
Now before you read further, will you listen to this song? It describes how I’m feeling a lot these days.
One of the most profound realizations that has flooded my heart and mind over the past several months is the fact that the God I have keenly felt, intimately known and completely loved over my entire lifetime — is NOT the God that I’ve learned about at church. God doesn’t require us to jump through hoops to arrive in His presence. (ie: the 15 temple recommend questions) He loves everyone unconditionally. (ie: treatment of the LGBT community and everyday sinners) He is the very essence of truth and light and when He is present, all darkness is snuffed out. (ie: accurate and actual church history and explanations behind church policy )
The idea of God being profoundly different than I’ve learned from a lifetime is the Mormon church is a thought that has been in the very back of my mind ever since my divorce five years ago. Since then, my church attendance has been spotty, I read the Book of Mormon a couple of times a month instead of every day, and I struggled to both pay tithing and attend the temple. Members of the church will read that sentence as evidence of the reason behind my current state of apostasy and yet…….ever since, I have felt God’s love and presence even more than I did during other periods of time in my life when I was diligently checking every box of my eternal salvation to-do list. The fact that God instructed me to leave behind my family of origin in order to protect my own children from abuse is a direct contradiction to what I see our current church leaders doing. I felt God’s sustaining love and dedicated guidance for years about that one, life-changing decision and the cognitive dissonance that hit when I witnessed our prophets and apostles leading the church in the opposite way was devastating.
The heartache and soul-shattering pain that I’ve felt since early April has forced me to take several steps back from my social media advocacy to carve out time to rethink everything that I grew up “knowing”. My belief in the gospel has been the reason behind everything and with such critical cracks in my foundational faith, I must answer the question of why I do what I do. True to form, I’ve been public about my struggles and in my publicly expressed struggles, most members of my congregation have fallen silent because I’m speaking out about damaging behavior of our church leaders. Their silence has only served to magnify the heartache and in turn, that has forced me to think longer and harder about who God is and what he needs from me in this life.
I’ve walked my entire life with my heart reaching for God, to feel and be guided by Him and it’s worked. He’s been there and He has guided my life. But who is He? The Mormon church denies the idea of the trinity and instead believes that God was once a mortal man who lived a life on a fallen world, just as we are now doing. They believe that if we are married in the temple and do everything that the leaders of the church ask of us then we will also become Gods. So, if that’s not true then what is true? If that’s not true then where do I find the truth? The Catholic Church? Nope. I’ve been tempted a few times to go talk to a priest as I’ve been searching but their problems in the sexual abuse scandals are just as bad as ours. Another Christian church? Or any organized church for that matter? I can’t bring myself to even try. When mortal men stand between us and God, we have the tendency to rely on their interpretation of the Spirit, or scripture, or morality.
At this moment in my heart, mind and soul I know one thing with certainty: God is real. He is love and light and truth and when we remain open to Him, desiring His love, light and truth – that is what we will receive.
My heart is a blank slate right now. I’m working to process my grief so that I can understand what the purpose is for having been born into a family, and a church, that seems bent on maintaining the status quo.
So for those of you who read my blog – if you or I ever thought I had answers, we can now be certain that I don’t. I’m so sorry if I’ve disappointed you. I can’t tell you why the brethren continue to protect sexual predators. I can’t tell you why they’re excommunicating someone who has given so much to defend the innocence of children. I can’t tell you why they’re ignoring the root causes of the extremely high suicide rate of Utah teens. I just don’t know – and if I’m honest, I don’t have the energy to watch and wait for them to offer healing balm to our aching souls. Every moment spent waiting and watching is, for me, another moment of pain inflicted.
I can’t tell you much but what I can tell you is that God is love.
PS – my daughter and I have started building a dollhouse that I bought earlier this year:) Feel free to check out our new IG account: A_Mini_Obsession